In the week before Christmas, Rosie, our London prisons worker ran a prayer project in the prison where she works.
Visiting every unit in the prison, she handed out paper tags to everyone who was registered as a Christian – just under 150 men. The men were asked to write an anonymous prayer on their tag which would be hung on the Christmas tree and prayed for over Christmas.
The tags that came back had really meaningful, thoughtful prayers written on them. Almost all of their prayers were for other people. Prayers for the chaplaincy team. Prisoners who are struggling over Christmas. An end to violence in prison. Protection and good health for their friends and family.
Using the prayer tags as a basis, the chaplaincy team prayed for the young men in the prison. The tags were also used as a part of a special Christmas Day service in the chapel.
Prayers from the prisoners
‘I pray that everyone comes together to stop violence in prison and that those role models have the courage to influence others to be peaceful. I pray for forgiveness, so that my victims can move on from the violence that I inflicted on them. I pray that they have a very merry Christmas and God reveals himself to them to give them peace and comfort.’
‘Thank the Lord I have clothes on my back and food. I pray for the people that aren’t looking forward to Christmas. God bless them. I pray for my mum and family and the chaplaincy.’
‘Good health for family and friends. Serenity within our souls and on the wings. For people to look past our criminal record when we come out. Mental strength for our families to cope with our situation. Bless us to achieve our dreams. Help us to make the right decisions. Help us to make progress. Bless us with ambition and a positive attitude. Financial stability for our loved ones and ourselves when we are released.’
‘I want to pray for things to go well for me when I’m released and for God to give me the strength to overcome obstacles, distractions and temptations.’
Please pray for each of our Offender Outreach Workers and the young men and women they work with across the country. Pray that God will be made known in these prisons.